Number of Travellers in Kilkenny rises by 12.8% over five years

Year-on-year percentage increase in the number of families sharing accommodation

Sam Matthews


Sam Matthews



Data from Census 2016 today shows the number of Travellers is rising in Kilkenny

The numbers of Travellers in Kilkenny rose by 12.8% in Kilkenny between the years 2011 and 2016, according to new data from the most recent Census.

There were 554 Irish Travellers enumerated in the county in April 2016. This was an increase of 63 on the number in 2011, making up just over 1 in 200 of the county’s population, compared with 0.7% at national level.

There were more male (284) than female (270) Travellers. Over half of all Travellers in the county were aged under 20, compared to fewer than 3 in 10 (28.7%) of the county’s overall population.

The data corresponds with figures from Kilkenny County Council earlier this year indicating the Travelling Community here has grown substantially in recent years. It shows the number of Traveller families increased by 20% in the last year alone.

An annual count of Traveller families and their accommodation status was carried out last November, showing a total of 196 families resident in County Kilkenny. That's up from a figure of 157 families in 2015, while the figure was 170 families the two years previous.

Kilkenny County Council has said the increase is not attributable to people moving in from neighbouring counties, but rather due to the young age at which couples are starting families.

Coupled with the wider housing crisis, the increase has presented some problems. Figures from the council show there has been a year-on-year percentage increase in the number of families now sharing accommodation, as well as those on the roadside. There has also been a fall in the number of families accessing private rented accommodation.

Last year, there were 32 families sharing accommodation and seven roadside, compared to 15 sharing and two roadside in 2015. The council has said that efforts will need to be sustained to deliver accommodation for those families greatest in need, "namely young families requring ongoing supports who cannot access alternative accommodation and those families living without basic facilities parked on the roadside and in yards to the rear of family homes.”

The Central Statistics Office today published Census 2016 Profile 8 Irish Travellers, Ethnicity and Religion. The report shows that the number of Irish Travellers stood at 30,987, representing 0.7% of the general population in April 2016.

In April 2016, those who indicated a 'White Irish' ethnic or cultural background amounted to 85,972 people (87.8% of the county’s population), an increase of 1,468 on 2011. The next largest grouping –'Any Other White background' accounted for 7,270 persons (7.4%), an increase of 471.

Those with 'Black or Black Irish (African/any other Black background)' comprised 718 persons (0.7%) while 984 persons (1.0%) indicated an “Asian or Asian Irish (Chinese/any other Asian background)”. A further 936 (1.0%) stated they were of “Other, including mixed background” while 1,482 (1.5%) did not state their ethnic/cultural background.